Spain | Netherlands | Germany | Portugal | Summary
Summary Chapter I



When you compare the state of research concerning the topic „early technical education“ in all countries that participate in this project (Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain), you will easily see that in all those countries early technical education in the sense of the definition


„Early technical education sensitises children to scientific and technical phenomena. It creates opportunities to develop und support children´s interest in and their understanding of basic principles of science and technology by promoting experiences and furthering abilities. It is designed for the age range of 3 to 10 and for both sexes and takes place in the context of the social, cultural and emotional world of children. It takes into account the variety of teaching concepts, processes, materials and methods.”


hardly plays a role in pre- and primary school education or is not taken into consideration at all. Only in the sub-area of information and communication technologies there are single projects in all countries that have tried to foster this age group.


Girls and women are under-represented in technical professions, study- and training programmes. The participating countries’ institutions involved in the project aim at opening ways to balance these deficits by implementing the idea of gender mainstreamng in pre- and primary school education. In order to reach this aim it is – in the participating partners’ opinion - an absolute necessity to make this thought a subject also in the training of nursery- and primary school teachers and, what is more, to train and sensitize the – predominantely female - staff who are already working in the educational practice in this respect.


Whereas in all participating countries curricula for primary school education exist, in which the scientific-technical range of topics – partly not more than their beginnings – find consideration,  the Netherlands and Spain dispose of curricula for the pre-school area but they neglect these topics. In Portugal however, the curriculum for the training of pre-school teachers contains the area “world-knowledge”, which comprises contents from physics and chemistry (light, air, water etc.) as well as biology. The aim is to make a first contact with scientific methods possible and to foster the childrens’ attitude towards technical-experimental phenomena. In Germany a general educational mission for pre-school education is laid down in the law, but no concrete curricula are used for its realisation.


The analysis of this status quo shows, above all in the pre-school area – with the exception of Portugal – a clear neglect of the subject matter “Early technical education”.

From this arises the necessity for the participating partners to develop an educational-didactic conception for this topic (compare chapter 2 of this handbook), which takes into account the approaches that already exist in Portugal and which in the long run may eventually lead to an appropriate curriculum in individual other countries.


In the course of the project the highly diverse educational facilities and their different educational traditions led to the necessity to agree on cornerstones of a European educational-didactic conception to be developed across the boundaries of countries and institutions, and to agree on the psychological-educational view of the child and the tasks of teaching.


While pedagogics in the Netherlands follow a predominantely constructionalistic and development-orientated approach, the institutional and educational conditions in Spain and Portugal lead to a primarily project-orientated, investigative-developing approach. Over the last decades, German pre-school education has been shaped by the situation-approach, which makes significant situations of the child, so-called key-situations, its starting point and derives learning contents and –methods from these. The analysis of common interests and differences will lead to innovations in the didactic-methodical work in the individual countries by picking up the partners’ approaches and by testing and evaluating them in one’s own fields of work as well as in regional practice institutions.


Also you as someone who is interested, are cordially invited to test in practice the concepts, projects, methods and materials published on the following pages, and to announce your experiences in our chatroom.